HOT SPRING COUNTY, Ark. — Firefighters believe it could take up to a week for a large fire, that sparked Sunday inside a Jones Mill Warehouse, to burn out.
According to the Rockport Fire Department a driver spotted smoke coming from the industrial park off Reynolds Drive around 6:30 am Sunday.
When crews arrived they found wood piles inside the Hot Spring County solid waste facility on fire.
“We’re going to have to let it smolder and we’re not going to get to the seat of the fire right now,” said Rockport Fire Chief Damon Dyer.
Dyer says 58 firefighters from nine departments worked for hours to put out the flames. He says the roof caved in making it impossible to spray anymore water on the wood piles.
He estimates about a half a million tons of wood needs to burn out.
“I think it will burn for a week. We’re going to have a fire watch out here 24 hours a day,” Dyer explained.
What crews can’t prevent is smoke billowing for miles, drawing curious passerbys close.
“Of course you’re going to wonder,” said Travis Rapp, who lives a couple miles away. “As long as it’s not burning anything that could hurt me.”
There was concern over air quality, prompting the County Judge to issue a State of Emergency.
ADEQ has been to the site and found there’s no threat to air quality for homes and businesses outside of the park.
Firefighters are monitoring the flames to make sure they don’t spread, and working in shifts to keep people away from the park.
“We are in charge to keep everybody out that way no comes in and gets injured or causes any other problems,” Dyer said.
Crews were able to pull millions-of-dollars worth of county equipment from the facility before it was destroyed.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.